The main source of esteem for any staffing agency is the quality of the personnel that they bring to the fold. Staffing agencies stake their reputation on being able to find the best candidates for their client. Having that said, the primary focus of a staffing agency should be to work as a suitable gateway between the worker and the employer, bringing only the best personalities to the workforce. There are several proactive steps that a staffing agency must make in order to make sure they maintain this integrity. Here are ten of the most important.
Find an Applicant who is Committed to the Job.
Any applicant you hire should be someone who is committed to the job at hand. The last thing any company or even staffing agency needs is someone who will jump ship at the first opportunity. In order to find employees that will fulfill the duration of a project you need to find individuals that have a long-term interest in the company. Also, be sure to thoroughly vet the candidates job history, and if their record is too spotty, pass them on for someone with a more reliable background.
Beyond anything else, the number one quality of a good candidate is someone who is reliable. You could have an applicant with the highest test scores, impressive skill sets, and all the other attributes that impress, but if they can’t even be relied upon to show up to work on time and stay there long enough to get the job done, all of these other accolades are meaningless. In order to succeed as a recruiter for a staffing agency, you need to be sure to find applicants who truly are committed to the job at hand.
Give Good Incentives to Stay with the Agency.
If we were to be honest, we would have to admit, that the goal of most in the workforce is to only stay with a temporary staffing agency, temporarily. Even if candidates do prove to be reliable for the short term, most don’t plan staying with an agency the rest of their life. Even for the most career minded worker, according to the “Bureau of Labor Statistics, the will hold at least 11 jobs in their lifetime. Couple this with the fact that staffing agencies are typically used as a resource for job seekers when they are “in between jobs”, and you can see just how hard it might be to retain good talent.
But even though for most, working as a temp may just be a nice “in between job” cushion, and temporary safety net for them, there are ways you can incentivize the relationship to make quality job seekers keep coming back. This can be done with competitive pay rate, a generous health insurance package, 401K and many other official benefits. In order to remain competitive with other agencies, such things should always be part of an official benefit package.
You should also strive to offer some personalized incentives with special meaning for the individual worker. These can range anywhere from pizza parties, to all expense paid trips to the Bahamas, or simply having a blue jean Friday at the office. You have to get to know your employees, what they like, and learn for yourself what kind of personalized incentives work with them. It only makes sense that the more incentives you give, the longer employees will stay with the staffing agency.
Provide Career Training
If your applicants seem to be a little bit less than desired, there is such a thing as “Career Training” that can work to educate them and improve the skill set that they already have. This could mean a week or two of training before having the applicant placed on a job, completing computer modules, or on the job training as they work. It could also mean having active workshops at the agency in which mentoring can take place either one on one or in group sessions in which goal setting and pro-growth strategies can be discussed at length. All of these tools serve to enhance the workplace experience for both employee and employer.
Utilize the Power of Social Media
Let’s face it, searching through someone’s social media history is the easiest way to get to know someone, but all the information we glean from Facebook and Instagram may give us more than we bargained for. In fact, according to the latest stats from Career Builder, 54% of employers regularly decide not to hire after checking out a candidate’s online activity on social media. Despite the poker face that they may portray to you inside the interview room, even just a cursory check of their social media accounts could cut away that veneer completely.
If there are inappropriate, offensive comments left by them on their Facebook page, such things could be taken into consideration during the hiring process. The same goes for risqué images. These things can all be considered when it comes to the overall character of the applicant. But recruiters have to take such things with a grain of salt, social media just tells us one side of the story, and while it is important, you can’t base your entire decision upon what you see on Face Book or other similar social media platforms.
Make use of School Job Boards.
School job boards truly are a great resource, not only for the former student looking for post graduate work, but also for the employer/staffing agency looking for fresh college grads. Many grads are stuck in that all too familiar catch 22 of needing to get experience to get to the next level yet not having anyone willing to grant them that experience. This can be an incredibly frustrating situation to be in.
But you could be the first to open the door for them, letting them in on the ground floor for the very first time. In many ways this is one of the greatest benefits that a staffing agency can provide an applicant, the ability to try out for jobs that may not have called them otherwise. So yes, go ahead and give that fresh faced new talent a chance and make use of school job boards.
Challenge their Ability to Learn and Analyze Data.
This can be a tough one, but it is important to see just where your applicant stands when it comes to their ability to learn and make sense of analytical data. And while no one wants to do an SAT styled test during their first interview, having at least a few comprehensive questions in this regard can be of tremendous benefit. These tests if done right can cut through the gloss of a well-polished resume and the hubris of an overly confident candidate, getting down to the nuts and bolts of their character and their real ability to solve problems.
Make sure the applicant will fit in with company culture.
This one is of incredible importance, yet amazingly enough, company compatibility is often overlooked. Beyond first impressions the candidate may make with their personal manners and decorum during the interview, the only way to really get an idea of the applicant’s social ethics in the workplace is to examine their relationships with past bosses and coworkers. You should of course, feel free to call up references left on the resume, but you should also take things a step further.
Because chances are, if an employee had a tumultuous relationship at one of their past places of employment, they will most likely do their best to hide that fact from you. The best way around this is to call the companies they worked for direct, and then ask around about that candidate yourself. You don’t have to play private investigator or anything, but you can do just a little bit of proactive due diligence to get to the bottom of their social history and performance on the previous positions they held.
Use Onboarding to engage New Hires on a Social Level.
Despite what you may have been told, “onboarding”—the process of bringing new hires on board—is not just for signing new hire docs and taking tours of the breakroom. For a proactive staffing agency, onboarding should also be a great opportunity to engage new employees on a social level. Onboarding should be a time in which company values, and the values of the new employee can be exchanged, creating a bridge between the corporate culture of the staffing agency and the individual proclivities of the new employee.
This exchange helps the new hire learn what is to be expected of them on a day to day basis, and also serves to key the staffing agency in one specific needs and nuances of their new hires. In the previous section we discussed how important it was to make sure a candidate fit in with company culture, onboarding is yet another very important means of doing just that. The stronger the relationship between the staffing agency and the employee, the more productive the overall experience will be for all of those involved.
Understand What You Need for the Position You are Recruiting For.
Before you do anything else, in order to be successful in the recruiting process, you are going to have to understand what it is that you are recruiting for in the first place. You will need to be able to assess the workload, and goals of the company, along with the decision to hire. This means that you should make some critical evaluations of what resources the company already has and what will most likely be needed in the near future.
You also need to keep everything in balance and harmony with the other members of the company. Be sure to examine how your current employees function, and aim to bring on new hires who complement the existing dynamic, and fulfill any remaining needs of the agency. In order to find the perfect candidate to fill these needed niches, some staffing agencies will go all out with specifically designed psychometric employee profile testing in order to find the perfect personality for recruitment.
But standardized testing isn’t the only way to ascertain this valuable data. Often enough just open discussions with existing team members, and perhaps even including some of these members in on the interview process of new hires should be enough. Including key components of your existing workforce in the hiring process should give you all of the insight you need to be able to understand what it is you need for the position you are recruiting for.
Make New Hires Feel Welcome
At first glance this one probably seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at just how many companies go through the trouble of hiring someone only to give them a heavy dose of the cold shoulder once they are hired. It seems that often enough in the workplace and perhaps even more so with staffing agencies, that there is often this sort of disconnect between veteran employees and new hires. There are many psychological and interpersonal factors that can go into these difficulties. Among current members of the workplace, the temp often gets a bad rap as an uninterested fill-in at best, and a potential rival for position at worst.
And on the other end of the spectrum, without proper team cohesion, veteran employees can be perceived as giving the cold shoulder to the new hires, creating a gigantic negative feedback loop of low expectation on both sides. In order to avoid this, we need to be proactive in our welcoming of new team members from the very moment they sign on with us. Immediately after they pass their background check and drug screen, you should go above and beyond to make new hires feel welcome. If you follow these ten steps without fail, you will be able to find and keep the best candidate for the job.